Is SEO dead or are people mixing up the definition? Is SEO a process or result?
If SEO is the result of getting content like video and website higher in search results than SEO is still alive. But if it is defined by how we get that content to the top than SEO is dead. So when people say SEO is dead are we mixing up what Search Engine Optimization really is? SEO is evolving and changing but does that mean its gone?
The "SEO is Dead" headline is used as click bait, period. If it were true, companies would stop hiring SEOs and that hasn't been the case. Tactics that used to work may be dead, but that doesn't mean they haven't been replaced by new ones.
For larger brands that have a significant, longstanding reliance upon traffic from search engines, the game has changed, but it hasn't gone away. Rich snippets, authoritative, truly editorial links, link bait content, schema mark up, in-depth content, technical optimization, etc. all still works and is worth pursuing.
For people that operate many sites in profitable niches, the old stuff still works, just for a shorter period of time. Go to Google.com and search for [buy viagra]. What you'll find is basically a snapshot of SEO as it "used to be": sites with thousands upon thousands of exact match, keyword rich anchor text, links parts of obvious Russian link networks, links in hacked sites that are hidden off page by CSS, etc. You'll also see a lot of cloaking.
So is SEO dead? No, not even close. Here are the main differences:
- Riskier tactics are caught more quickly by search engines, but, done well, they still work for short to medium periods of times (~.5-6 months)
- Older tactics have been replaced by high quality content writing, link earning via editorial inclusion, link bait (that hasn't been algorithmically devalued by Google yet), and creating a more appealing SERP entry with rich snippets (authorship, reviews, etc.).
- Having technical SEO issues within your site can still screw your site's organic traffic.
Every time I hear "SEO" from someone, it is used to describe the process, not the result. The usual toolset is
1) Site content optimization - pretty alive, and even works better, as the "put all keywords you can in bold on your page" way doesn't work now
2) Using context ads for getting in the paid sections of search engine results - still effective
3) Search engine-specific hacks and buying many links to create sort of fake popularity - more or less dead
So I'll say that SEO as "bunch of magic hacks that get me in the top" is dead. SEO as part of marketing strategy for the website is alive.
The Simple Answer to your Very Simple Question is - "NO"
"NO SEO IS NOT DEAD"
While SEO is NOT dead, the way that you're doing it might be. Does the following describe your approach? You've optimized your H1s and meta tags and you've built a few (hopefully white hat) links. Now you just sit back and watch your site rise to the top of Google, right? WRONG
SEO is the thing/Logic/Process Which Separates the Two Brands with the Same Name dealing in the Different Niche Separated to Each other.
I hope you got my Explanation, If not? GIve a re-read...
SEO is no longer a set of tips and tricks to get your site noticed. Google and others have made content consumption into a science, understanding not only the relationship between concepts, but also the meaning. As a result, the best practices for SEO and for your readers are now one and the same, since people looking for your content and Google essentially want the same thing.
This relates to site structure (following proper weighting of H tags) as well as things like sitemaps and Robot.txt files. It also relates to things like backlinks which can provide validity to your site, especially if you have links on partner or trusted sites (.gov is very trusted, for example).
So I agree, SEO is evolving and changing, but I suspect people are using search engines more and more every day, a clear sign that SEO is alive and kicking.
Here is my take on on the Very Misunderstood and very alive SEO.
For us to clearly understand this, I want to take us back to the fundamentals of Google.
Aside from being an advertising platform, Google was mainly built as a Search Engine. It's main role is and always will be is to connect the Best Information(websites/resources) to the Information seeker(people searching).
This explains 2 things regarding SEO and also explains the numerous changes that happen to the Search algorithm changes.
Google changes their algorithm to continually optimize and improve the quality of information that the Searcher is trying to find. This is why Google is the best search engine, because they strive to deliver the best and most reputable information you are searching for.
It is like a librarian that will always try to give you the best possible book to answer the questions you have. In this analogy let us breakdown the concept of SEO. When you ask(keyword search) the librarian(Google) about the best weight loss solution(Most reputable sources), she will try to get you the best resource you will need(results on the first page) and not just give you the newest of shiniest book(new sites or sites that have had "blackhat" SEO applied to them) You see how SEO and the change algorithm ties into all of this?
So to answer your question, Like what Maria said, SEO will never die and Google is providing us a service by making sure that people are getting the information they want.
I can go on and explain more of what happens in the backend of rankong websites, backlinks, pings, on page, off page optimization but this might not be the most appropriate thread for it. However, if you want to know more, I'd be happy to go over more details on a private thread with you. And if you found value in this comment, I would like to invite you to shoot me a quick review on my profile and also please feel free to ask me any other questions you have on SEO, I'd be happy to answer to the best of my knowledge!
Good luck with your own SEO endeavors!
Certain SEO techniques might possibly be dying. Google is shifting towards unique content and so the emphasis is on providing that rather than keyword utilization and internal/external back links. Once these SEO techniques are no longer relevant then what is left might be deemed less SEO and more Content Management.
SEO is far from dead, and it is a process. Always changing and always interesting. An art. The fact that it is a process is what creates the economic opportunity. If it was a task, than undoubtedly it would be automated and it would become a commodity.
I believe it's a process. With Google and other search engines changing their parameters every day, for designers or webmasters to constantly manipulate content accordingly does not seem like an efficient use of time. If content is authentic and truly describes what the company does (in terms that people are likely to search for...not necessarily industry jargon), search engines should find them.
One of the misconception regarding the word SEO is that people thought it is the actual result of the marketing and not as the medium of marketing.
with the tagline "SEO is DEAD" is merely a way of some company to convert marketers attention in to a new medium. A lot of online marketers still rely upon marketing since (1) it is one of the most convinient means of advertising and (2) it also enables people to connect to their targetted market/client.
SEO is NOT DEAD, SEO is the process of making your website search engine friendly, it has drastically changed over time and got a lot more involved but dont be fooled, SEO IS FAR FROM DEAD!